When you need to buy something, you just head to the nearest store or supermarket. You pick up the product, pay for it and return home. Have you ever wondered how products reach the store shelves? There is an entire process called supply chain management behind it!
Supply chain management maintains the balance between the demand and supply and involves activities right from procurement of materials and converting them into finished goods to ensuring delivery at the right time to reach the end-consumer. Hence, supply chain management is the lifeline of an organization. It needs to be really efficient to keep the operations running like a well-oiled machine. A streamlined supply chain management chain can enhance customer relationship, lower down operational costs.
What are the main functions of supply chain management?
The Role of global supply chain management primarily comprises five functions mentioned below:
This is the first function of supply chain management. It pertains to procuring raw materials and other resources that are required to manufacture the goods. It requires coordination with suppliers to deliver the materials without any delays.
The operation team engages in demand planning and forecasting. Before giving raw material purchase order, the organization has to anticipate the possible market demand and number of units it needs to produce. Accordingly, it further sets the ball rolling for inventory management, production and shipping. If the demand is over anticipated, then it could result in excess inventory cost. If the demand is under anticipated, the organization wouldn’t be able to meet customer demand, thereby leading to revenue loss. So, operations function plays a critical role in supply chain management.
This function of supply chain management requires immense coordination. The manufacturing of products has commenced. It needs space for storage until it is shipped for delivery. This calls for making local warehouse arrangements. Let’s say; the products are to be delivered outside the city, state or country limits. This brings transportation in the loop. There will also be a need for outstation warehouses. Logistics ensures that products reach the end-point delivery without any glitches.
Any production consumes raw materials, technology, time and labour. However, all the processes need to be efficient and effective. This phase is taken care of by the resource management function team. It decides the allocation of resources in the right activity at the right time to optimize the production at reduced costs.
Information sharing and distribution is what really keeps all other functions of supply chain management on track. If the information workflow and communication are poor, it could break apart the entire chain and lead to mismanagement.
If you are planning to pursue a career as a retailer, you must invest in a supply chain management course to gain more knowledge.